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keep out the flies, and the room was kept carefully locked until the revolution of time brought round the weekly cleaning day.
6. The family always entered at the gate, and generally lived in the kitchen. To have seen a numerous household assembled around the fire, one would have imagined that he was transported to those happy days of primeval simplicity which float before our imaginations like golden visions.
7. The fireplaces were of truly patriarchal magnitude, where the whole family, old and young, master and servant, black and white—nay, even the very cat and dog-enjoyed a community of privileges, and had each a right to a corner.
8. Here the old burgher would sit in perfect silence, puffing his pipe, looking into the fire with half-shut eyes, and thinking of nothing for hours together; the good wife, on the opposite side, would employ herself diligently in spinning yarn or knitting stockings. The young folks would crowd around the hearth, listening with breathless attention to some old crone of a negro, who was the oracle of the family, and who, perhaps, like a raven in a corner of the chimney, would croak forth, for a long winter afternoon, a string of incredible stories about New England witches, grisly ghosts, horses without heads, hairbreadth escapes, and encounters with the Indians.
1. Simplicity, housewife, festival, gorgeous, wrought, device, burnished, precautions, discipline, amphibious, rhomboids, primeval, patriarchal, community, privileges, burgher, incredible.
2. When were those “old days of simplicity”? What is meant by “sanctum sanctorum”? Were there slaves in New York then ? Who settled New York ?
XXXII. KNICKERBOCKER LIFE IN NEW YORK.
11. In those happy days fashionable parties were generally confined to the higher classes—that is to say, such as kept their own cows and drove their own wagons. The company usually assembled at three o'clock and went away about six, unless it was in winter time, when the fashionable hours were a little earlier, that the ladies might reach home before dark.
2. The tea table was crowned with a huge earthen dish, well stored with slices of fat pork, fried brown, cut up into morsels and swimming in gravy. The company seated around the genial board' evinced their dexterity in launching their forks at the fattest pieces in this mighty dish—in much the same manner that sailors harpoon porpoises at sea, or our Indians spear salmon in the lakes.
3. Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple pies or saucers full of preserved peaches and pears; but it was always sure to boast an enormous
dish of balls of sweetened dough fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts—a delicious kind of cake, at present little known in this city (New York) except in genuine Dutch families.
4. The tea was served out of a majestic Delft teapot, ornamented with paintings of fat little Dutch shepherds and shepherdesses tending pigs, with boats sailing in the air, and houses built in the clouds, and sundry other ingenious Dutch fantasies. The beaux distinguished themselves by their adroitness in replenishing this pot from a Iruge copper teakettle.
5. To sweeten the beverage a lump of sugar was laid beside each cup, and the company alternately nibbled and sipped with great decorum, until an improvement was introduced by a shrewd and economic old lady, which was to suspend by a string from the ceiling a large lump directly over the teatable, so that it could be swung from mouth to mouth.
6. At these primitive tea-parties the utmost propriety and dignity prevailed, -no flirting, no coquetting, no romping of young ladies, no self-satisfied struttings of wealthy gentlemen with their brains in their pockets, no amusing conceits of smart young gentlemen with no brains at all.
7. On the contrary, the young ladies seated themselves demurely in their rush-bottomed chairs and knit their woolen stockings, nor ever opened their
lips except to say, “Yes, sir,” or “No, ma'am,” to any question which was asked them. The parties broke up without noise or confusion. The guests were carried home by their own carriages—that is to say, by the vehicles nature had provided them, excepting such as could afford to keep a wagon.
1. Evinced, dexterity, launching, porpoises, preserved, beaux, genuine, distinguished, adroitness, replenishing, beverage, alternately, decorum, primitive, prevailed, coquetting, conceits, demurely, vehicles.
2. Explain “the tea table was crowned,” “the genial board,” “the table was graced," "vehicles nature had provided."
XXXIII. EARLY RISING. 1. “God bless the man who first invented sleep !"
So Sancho Panza said, and so say I; And bless him also that he didn't keep
His great discovery to himself, nor try To make it—as the lucky fellow mightA close monopoly by patent right !
2. “Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed,"
Observes some solemn, sentimental owl.
But, ere you make yourself a fool or fowl,
3. The time for honest folks to be abed
Is in the morning, if I reason riglıt;
Upon his pillow till it's fairly light,
up to knavery, or else—he drinks.
4. Thomson, who sung about the “Seasons," said
It was a glorious thing to rise in season ; But then, he said it-lying—in his bed
At ten o'clock A. M.,—the very reason He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is, His preaching wasn't sanctioned by his practice.
5. 'Tis, doubtless, well to be sometimes awake,
Awake to duty and awake to truth ; But when, alas! a nice review we take
Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth, The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep Are those we passed in childhood—or asleep.
6. So, let us sleep, and give the Maker praise.
I like the lad who, when his father thought To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase
Of vagrant worm by early songster caught, Cried, “Served him right! it's not at all sur
prising !The worm was punished, sir, for early rising.”